Aastra BluStar(TM) Ecosystem Increases Flexibility for Remote Workers

Wed Sep 5, 2012 8:30am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Aastra (TSX:AAH), a leading company at the forefront of the enterprise
communication market, continues to enhance the video conferencing
customer experience with Release 4.1 of the Aastra BluStar(TM)
Application Server (BAS). The BAS, combined with Aastra BluStar
endpoints, provides users an ecosystem of BluStar enabled devices and
clients, including the award winning BluStar 8000i Desktop Media phone,
BluStar for PC, BluStar for iPad and BluStar for iPhone.

    Key highlights of BAS 4.1 include:

--  Supports the Aastra BluStar Ecosystem of devices & clients 
    --  BluStar 8000i Desktop Media Phone 
    --  BluStar for PC 
    --  BluStar for iPad 
    --  BluStar for iPhone 
--  Forked account support, up to 5 devices or clients 
--  Built-in VPN server supporting remote users with automatic configuration
--  Asymmetric channel support 
--  Intelligent Bandwidth Management features 
--  Automatic channel adaptation 
--  Enhanced network performance alarms and real-time graphing of
    performance data

    One of the most compelling new features for remote workers is the new
integrated VPN capability for creating a secure tunnel between the BAS
and a remote BluStar 8000i phone. Remote users face many challenges
connecting to corporate networks, especially with feature-rich devices
that utilize multiple video streams, connections to LDAP servers and have
to negotiate the challenges of NAT, firewalls and media routing. 

    In release 4.1, the BAS has been augmented with an Open Standards based
SSL VPN capability that can be administered via the BAS Web user
interface without the need for complicated end user configuration changes
such as dealing with certificates or forwarding ports on a third party
router, making remote deployments easy to manage.

    "The mainstream adoption of video conferencing by remote workers has been
hampered in the past by technology hurdles such as complexity of
implementation, achieving acceptable quality, and deployment security,"
said Simon Beebe, Vice President of Product Line Management at Aastra.
"With this latest release of the BluStar Application Server, Aastra has
eliminated these barriers to successful integration of remote workers
into the new collaborative enterprise." 

    Another significant benefit of Release 4.1 is the enhanced bandwidth
management capabilities. With multi-way video conferencing, the
challenges and potential bandwidth consumption can increase
significantly. The Bandwidth Manager (BWM) built into the BAS application
has sophisticated features that can automatically control the per call
bandwidth and what actions to take when limits are reached. 

    The BluStar 8000i and BAS 4.1 also support the ability to have
asymmetrical connections, where the transmit rate can be different from
the received rate. This is especially useful for remote users that
typically have high downstream bandwidths and lower upstream bandwidths.
Asymmetrical channels are utilized with peer-to-peer and multi-way
BluStar 8000i conference calls. 

    "Demand for executive and personal video conferencing endpoints has
increased as users continue to look for more convenient and less
expensive alternatives to conference room and boardroom meetings,"
explained Rob Arnold, Program Manager, Unified Communications and
Collaboration at Frost & Sullivan. "The market is anxious for technology
that combines enterprise-grade quality with ease-of-use for end users. As
our society becomes increasingly mobile, the demand is also growing for
solutions that allow mobile and remote workers to collaborate with
colleagues in the office." 

    Delivering true HD video conferencing and powerful collaboration
capabilities, the Aastra BluStar solution enables lifelike video images
to be delivered to the desktop. The BluStar Application Server is the
heart of the BluStar standalone solution. The BAS server acts as the
command center for the solution. Open standards based, using SIP call
control and H.264 video, the BAS application provides enhanced
conferencing and collaboration capabilities such as multi-way video
conferencing; PC desktop sharing (simultaneously to video calling); and,
network wide bandwidth management. The advanced design of the BluStar
solution avoids the need for costly MCUs, reducing overall costs and
additionally avoiding quality impacting encoding/de-coding and associated
increased latency when an MCU is deployed. The lifelike video and true
high quality audio, combined with desktop sharing makes communicating
remotely as natural as being face-to-face. 

    For further information, visit

    About Aastra

    Aastra Technologies Limited, (TSX:AAH), a leading company at the
forefront of the enterprise communication market. Headquartered in
Concord, Ontario, Canada, Aastra develops and delivers innovative
communications products and applications for businesses. Aastra's
operations are truly global with more than 50 million installed lines
around the world and a direct and indirect presence in more than 100
countries. Aastra is entirely dedicated to enterprise communications and
offers IP telephony and Unified Communications solutions individually
tailored to satisfy its customers' requirements. These range from
feature-rich call managers for small and medium businesses and highly
scalable ones for large enterprises, associated UC applications,
integrated mobility, multimedia call center solutions and high definition
video communications to a wide selection of desk phones and cordless
terminals. With a strong focus on open standards, Aastra enables
enterprises to communicate and collaborate more efficiently. For
additional information on Aastra, visit our website at www.aastra.com. 

    Aastra(R) is a registered trademark of Aastra Technologies Limited in the
United States and Canada. All other product and company names herein may
be trademarks of their registered owners.

Media contacts: Aastra Technologies Limited
Steve Hawkins
Director of Marketing

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